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Non-Profit Public Charity

Managing EPI

Dogs with Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) have a malabsorption and maldigestion condition where the pancreas is no longer producing enough pancreatic enzymes to digest fats, carbohydrates and proteins. Because of this, dogs (and also cats) will often present with unexplained weight loss, diarrhea/cow-patty like yellow/pale stools. Although EPI was once thought to be just a German Shepherd condition, it is now found in all breeds. That is why Epi4Dogs was created, because of Izzy, a little Spanish Water Dog that wasn’t supposed to have ‘that German Shepherd condition’.

Getting Involved

A treatable condition

Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) in dogs and cats is when acinar cells atrophy, sometimes called Pancreatic Acinar Atrophy (PAA), in the exocrine part of the pancreas and is no longer producing sufficient digestive enzymes: Lipase, Amylase, Trypsin & Protease that are needed to properly digest nutrients from food. This leads to maldigestion and malabsorption causing weight loss, loose stools, coprophagia, SIBO / SID (small intestinal dysbiosis), low B12. EPI in dogs and cats is manageable with the right balance of pancreatic enzymes with every meal, an agreeable diet, B12 supplementation if needed, along with appropriate SID management with prebiotics, or prebiotics with probiotics, or antibiotics if needed to get SID under control.

Who We Are

Epi4Dogs is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Public Charity EPI Research and Awareness organization with zero dollars for administration fees as Epi4Dogs is 100% volunteer-based. Recommendations on this site are supported by EPI veterinarian protocols, veterinarian EPI researchers, veterinarian publications, along with actual EPI pet owner’s day-to-day observations and experience. Epi4Dogs is GDPR Compliant.


Epi4Dogs has and continues to assist and collaborate with various vet schools on EPI genetics, gastrointestinal, and nutritional research to further the understanding of EPI. We have been published multiple times in general media publications and have co-authored veterinarian research publications.

Mission statement

Epi4Dogs Foundation Inc.’s purpose is advancement of science and education of EPI (Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency for dogs) by raising funds for EPI research that will yield useful insights or positive outcomes in better managing the EPI health condition in dogs and cats, and promoting EPI education through EPI awareness efforts by educating the public and offering assistance to pet owners, vet schools, veterinarians and veterinary researchers.

A community of volunteers

Our goal is to have the most current EPI information all in one place to better assist the veterinarian community, to help the EPI pet owner readily recognize EPI signs, and to encourage all to work together for the best possible outcome for the EPI dog (and cat)!

Years since original 2008 website launch

Years since new website re-launch 7-2018

Total registered members

Website page hits since re-launch

Member countries

Publications, collaborations, conferences attended & seminar stalls held

Total website page hits


Important introductory information

Here ye, here ye

News & Announcements

Ode to Maddie Moo

Just thought we’d share…………. a beautiful tribute to a very special dog,”Maddie Moo” , that Paul & Ann were lucky enough to share their lives and home with………

Epi4Dogs at the 2019 AVMA Conference

Epi4Dogs, Founder, President and Vice President were in attendance (booth #2092) at the 2019 AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association Conference) August 2nd thru August 6th in Washington, D.C.

                                                                                                              Diane S (left) with Madelon H (right)

University of Illinois collaboration

In an effort to find possible triggers to EPI, Epi4Dogs has collaborated for the past 3 years with the University of Illinois on the Maya Metabolomic Study. The study is almost completed and the results are expected to be published end of summer/fall time 2019.

Your EPI dog on a textbook cover???

Epi4Dogs was contacted by the co-author of an upcoming veterinary textbook. They were looking for high resolution “before and after” photos of dogs to use on the cover of a veterinarian textbook, for a “pre-publication” release announcement for the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA).

So many of us have seen our EPI dogs go through these “before and after” stages …. 

Although Epi4Dogs has no control over the photo selection, we truly hope that someone, somewhere in EPI community, has “before and after” photos of their EPI dog that will fit the publisher’s criteria, and (with your permission of course) be published on the cover of an upcoming textbook 

All photo’s were accepted only until Monday, March 4, 2019……… June 2019: We have been informed that photo selection has now been delayed as the focus is on content. Will update here when photo selection has been made.


2019 HallMark Rescue Dog Show

“CupCake, a little Chihuahua with EPI and Diabetes won the 2019 HallMark Rescue Dog Show ” Best in Special Needs” award.



Epi4Dogs President's visit with Rilind December 2018

December 26, 2018, our President, Madelon Hale got to visit with Rilind, the famous EPI dog.  Here they are together:

New EPI Dog Research- Aug 22, 2018

EPI Dogs & Lipid Soluble Vitamin Research just published Aug 22, 2018 in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  Key investigators Drs. Patrick Barko & David Williams, Univ of Illinois. Epi4Dogs assisted with the patient registry for this study and funding. Epi4Dogs was not involved with the design nor interpretation of any of the findings. The full research can be read on the Epi4Dogs EPI Research page: 

Seminar slides now available

Slide Presentations from the EPI (EXOCRINE PANCREATIC INSUFFICIENCY) SEMINAR on Sept 7, 2017  in Lebanon, TN are on the EPI Seminar page: 

EPI is manageable

Before & After

Images of our pups when diagnosed and after proper treatment

Watch this tremendous tribute to the efforts of many members in successfully managing EPI from diagnosis to stability.

This is Rilind, rescued by The Pit Sisters a wonderful organization, who joined our EPI forum and properly diagnosed Rilind with EPI…

…and this is Rilind, 3 months later after proper treatment for EPI was implemented!

Rilind has been adopted to his forever home….. please feel free to follow his story on Rilind Reborn Facebook page!


Chunky Monkey Club!

Success stories from the EPI forum

EPI4dogs on

Don't forget to get your 2020 EPI calendar before the new year! The Epi4Dogs Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to raising awareness of EPI and supporting EPI research. Our foundation is 100% volunteer, so all proceeds from the sale of these calendars goes towards these goals. To view or to purchase a calendar, visit our “EPI PRODUCTS” page here:
The dogs in the calendars are listed in alphabetical order so you can easily find the calendar and month in which your dog is featured. We sincerely thank all of you for supporting our foundation and its mission!
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Yesterday we posted a tribute to Merry, a cattledog who did not let her EPI slow her down. We firmly believe that EPI dogs can do anything non-EPI dogs can do, except, of course, digest their food without added enzymes. Merry excelled in herding. We'd love to hear from all of you about your EPI dog's special talents. Let the bragging begin! ... See MoreSee Less

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Merry was a Cattledog who was well managed for over 13yrs with EPI and just passed away at the grand old age of 16+1/2 years. Once she was properly diagnosed with EPI her condition was well managed with the EPI protocol. Merry won 18 Herding Titles.... most of these titles were secured AFTER her EPI diagnosis. As we have always said, please know that an EPI dog can do ANY thing any other dog can do, once the EPI is well managed. This is Merry's story.

This is a story of a Cattle dog named Merry. She was born in June 2003 full sister to my dog Pippin. She went to the home of my herding instructor and for 8 months we saw no more of her. The instructor says one day she was going to have to rehome Merry as she had no herding instinct. I was amazed. Things went from bad to worse and the owner became very ill and we took Merry. She was quiet and soft not like her sister. I thought I will teach her agility and get on with life. The following summer I was in Vernon training Pippin and I thought I would give one more chance. To my total amazement she went straight out on a square flank and down the fence line and there were sheep coming at us at 100 k. The herding instructor looks at me and says “no instinct ay”. The stage was set. We never did agility and she became my go to dog. Someone once told me Merry will never let you down and in 11 years of trialing she never did. She even did a shed for me when neither one of us had ever seen one before. At the end of her career she had 18 herding titles including RLF 3 from AHBA. She was the dog that Lynn Leach used to let dog break the lambs every year. Little babies 2 or 3 weeks old and she would bump them with her nose to get them moving.
About 2 years after we got her she became very ill, clearly dying. The diagnosis EPI her pancreas doesn’t produce any digestive enzymes. Mostly a GSD disease with a life expectancy even with treatment of less than 10 years. That was May 2006. We put enzymes on everything she eats including treats and every day is a bonus. Most of her titles were gained after the diagnosis. She is a poster child for the Vet School at a big Eastern US university. She is very deaf and quite creaky in the back but every day she goes for a walk with great joy and visits with her many friends. We know her time is limited but as long as she is well and has some joy of life our lives are better for having had her.

Sadly, yesterday we had to let Merry go. She will forever be in our hearts. God Speed Merry June 24 2003 to November 15 2019
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Our Contacts

Contact Madelon the President or Olesia the Founder of EPI4dogs directly using the details below. Also visit our contact page to send our volunteer staff an email.

 To contact individuals responsible for specific activities please see the Our Team page.



Call our Founder & Research Director, Olesia Kennedy on

(+1) 919-302-9892

Email our  Executive President Madelon Hale at